Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

My Top 10 Sources of Content Inspiration

blog inspirationI’m often talking about producing high quality, education based content as way to draw leads to know, like and trust you. So, for example, I always advise small business owners to create and populate a blog because I happen to think it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to both create and optimize content.

Some of the questions I still receive frequently however, are one like – how do know I what to write about, where do I get all those good ideas or how do I uncover trends, tools and tips that might appeal to my audience?

So, for today’s post I thought I would share the tools I use to get my brain thinking about what to write about. My favorite strategy is to mine these tools and sites for seemingly unrelated ideas. I can’t tell you how often I’ve uncovered the seed of an idea from something totally unrelated to marketing that I could twist to apply it in a totally new and relevant way.

  • Customer feedback – I love to turn customer and prospect questions into blog posts and more. You should be keeping track of those FAQs and answer every single one and some that don’t get asked as content.
  • delicious – this old school bookmarking site is still my favorite place to go and see what other folks are finding and saving.
  • Bing/xRank – I have to admit this is a new one as Bing, the Microsoft relaunched search engine is new, but for now, xRanks seems to be turning up trend faster than Google Trends
  • Blogs I subscribe to – I use Google Reader RSS reader and anytime I can I check in with some of the 100 blogs I subscribe to
  • OneRiot – another fairly new real time search engine that I use to find the links that people on twitter are discovering and retweeting
  • Keyword Phrases – Google’s free keyword search tools can give you phrases that people are actually using to find your products and services and offer some tips for what to call your blog posts
  • SmartBriefs – subscribe to a daily briefing on a variety of topics and see what some pretty smart editors are turning up
  • Business Week’s BX – Business Week’s social network allows anyone to submit content to a large group of subjects
  • Twitter follows – I follow some folks that are always finding and tweeting good stuff. By setting a select group up in TweetDeck I can always stay on top of these important tweets.
  • Magazine pile – I subscribe to Wired, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Week, and Fast Company and while I sometimes get behind on the pile, I love to go there for inspiration.

Image credit: USMarine0311

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Don't miss a single word!
Complete the form and we will send you articles just like this every week.

Synthesis Managed WordPress Hosting
  • http://blogicthink.com/ blogicthink.com

    'Blogs I subscribe to' is my favorite resource.
    If you use firefox (I don't know I am conservative enough on using browser to make a research for my blog) I suggest you to use feedly. Just trying, I know you will love it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/pcassiano Paulo Cassiano

    Please, share your favorite blog list ;-)

  • http://www.mccloudphotography.com/ Justin

    Great list for finding inspiration. You blog here does a great job in keeping us informed on the latest and most interesting current topics. Love it!

  • http://www.iamsearch.co.uk/ Amrit Gill

    I think everyone should have a list of inspirational content at tap – i've just started a new blog at http://www.iamsearch.co.uk and all i've been doing is the basics – hello world blogs, but i'm currently drafting up the meaty content by hitting up twitscoop / yahoo buzz and various others and then dumping the words out into wonder wheel and seeing the spin offs to see if i can attach my next blog post onto the topic.

    Alternatively I just hit up my google reader and read till i find something thought provoking and to see how it can inspire my angle on things.

    Boston pictures and ffffound.com are my arty inspiration sites i hit up.

    But yeah mate – please share your blog list!

  • http://www.infusionsoft.ca/infusionsoft-marketing-blog.html ElliottM

    I find the daily exchange of working with other small business owners to be inspirational enough for blog posts. Helping entrepreneurs get the most out of Infusionsoft gives one a lot of material to create blog posts from.

  • http://www.authorityseo.com authorityseo

    I appreciate the list. I enjoy when I can find some new things to checkout.

  • http://www.rnbresearch.com/ Allen

    I came to your blog just when I was surfing on this topic. I am happy that I found your blog and information I wanted.

  • http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2579262/west_coast_vinyl/ WestCoastVinyl

    Great list for finding inspiration, we use the blog list and google trend bookmarks services.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-690237
    http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/WestCoastViny

  • http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2579262/west_coast_vinyl/ WestCoastVinyl

    oh yeh, forgot hit tail, this services monitors keywords and gives you the long tail for a subject!

  • TedHessing

    My list is a little more lo-tech. Amusing for a website designer, right?

    1. Client feedback – Like you said, John, while you can't expect every customer to read everything you have ever posted, an informative blog post (with robust comments) is a GREAT resource to be able to point both prospects and clients to.

    2. Emails – If someone specifically asks you for help via email and you respond, you have a ready-made content source. Just copy, paste and edit! Especially useful if you keep a large email repository

    3. Forums – I love Linked in. You can see EXACTLY what your network is asking for via their answers section.

  • http://www.more-for-small-business.com/ Kris Bovay

    Nice list. I find the variety of sources interesting. I always use customer feedback and questions/answers as a source. I sometimes use some of the other sources. I just checked out Business Week's BX and will start tracking that – it's got some good potential for content. Thanks.

  • http://www.menusnearu.com/ Menus Nearu

    You gave a great information!!!!!!
    Your information regarding Search Engine Optimization will be useful to all internet marketers..
    It will be useful to all internet marketers to develop their internet business!!!!

  • http://www.gentlerainmarketing.com/ Gentlerain Marketing

    You gave great information!!!!!!!
    Your information regarding developing links to our own site is useful to all internet marketers..
    Thanks to gave this information…

  • http://redhotfranchises.com/ RedHotFranchises

    This is a great inspirational list. I will definitely bookmark them and check them all out during my free time. Keep them coming!

  • katie

    Great list! you may want to also check out freedom business franchise

  • TimothyCarter

    Wow, I've never heard of OneRiot! I'm going to have to check that out for sure. As the old saying goes, “Learn something new everyday”…well in social media, it's “learn something new every second”!

    @TimothyCarter

  • Mitch

    I've been searching all over the place for blogs to look at and all I find is specialized material. I finally discovered that it's so much easier finding entrepreneurial advice in books. For example, my dad gave me this book called “Young Guns” and it is so much easier to get advice about all different aspects of starting your own business instead of the blogs. Just a thought.

  • Mitch

    I've been searching all over the place for blogs to look at and all I find is specialized material. I finally discovered that it's so much easier finding entrepreneurial advice in books. For example, my dad gave me this book called “Young Guns” and it is so much easier to get advice about all different aspects of starting your own business instead of the blogs. Just a thought.